Fight Against Malaria

 Some Facts:
  • Malaria endangers 1 in every 6 Indian
  • costing the economy $2 billion in lost productivity each year
  • routinely pulls children out of school,
  • plunges countless families into crushing debt, and
  • leads to agonising, expensive death
  • India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • WHO figures also suggest that India is unlikely to reduce its case burden beyond 40% by 2020
  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s plan to eliminate malaria by 2027.
  • It aims to eradicate the mosquito-borne disease from India three years ahead of the global deadline set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


New plan approach
  • It is the country’s first time-bound malaria elimination programme since the National Malaria Eradication Programme was aborted in the late 1960s.
  • Since the 1970s, the thrust of India’s anti-malaria programme has been on controlling the disease.
  • The National Vector and Disease Control Progamme, 2004, the plan’s predecessor, too aimed at “controlling” malaria.
  • There are time-bound targets for all districts, based on their vulnerability to malaria.
  • The plan lays emphasis on awareness programmes, entomological surveillance and outbreak warning systems — methods that have contributed to eradicating malaria in several parts of the world, including Sri Lanka.


  • Official statistics are wrong. They show that only 300 people died of malaria last year while independent studies claim that number to be 50,000
  • It leads to broken malaria control program
  • Threadbare and chronically understaffed clinics often turn sick patients away or refer them to overcrowded district hospitals.
  • Mosquito nets and pesticide sprays are seldom deployed on time or in sufficient quantities.
India’s Vulnerability to malaria
  • Malaria parasite has been particularly resilient for centuries.
  • Plasmodium vivax parasite responsible for almost 50 per cent of India’s malaria burden has adapted to anti-malarial drugs.


WHO Report:
  • Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia, says the WHO, are among the countries poised to reduce malaria incidence by over 40% by 2020.
  • India — due to low funding per person at risk and resistance to certain frontline insecticides — is only expected to achieve a 20%-40% reduction.
  • In 2016, an estimated Rs. 13,000 crore was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally by governments of malaria endemic countries and their international partners.
  • The majority (74%) of investments in 2016 was spent in the WHO’s Africa region, followed by the WHO regions of Southeast Asia (7%), the Eastern Mediterranean and the Americas (each 6%), and the Western Pacific (4%).
  • “India has reduced its new malaria cases by one third, and even crossed the malaria mortality targets of 2020,” said Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda at a high-level round table on ‘Accelerating the Elimination of Malaria in the Southeast Asia Region’.
  • He further added that with nearly three-fourths of the share of the regional burden, India’s successes had significantly contributed to the reduction of the burden of malaria for the entire Southeast Asia region.
  • The Union Minister noted that a majority of malaria cases in the country occurred in its bordering districts, forests and tribal areas.
Way forward
  • Compared to several other communicable diseases, malaria is not a particularly complex disease. What we need to do is to stop mosquitoes from transmitting the parasite or make the parasite ineffective.
  • Beefing up indigenous research on the disease



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